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OR-Sen: Merkley Pulls Ahead in New Internal Poll

by: James L.

Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 5:56 PM EDT

Damn, this is great news. Benenson Strategy Group for Jeff Merkley (9/7-9, likely voters, August in parens):

Jeff Merkley (D): 43 (38)
Gordon Smith (R-inc): 41 (47)
Dave Brownlow (C): 6 (4)
(MoE: ±3.7%)

The full polling memo is below the fold, and do check it out if you like to read about good news. As you can see from Smith's job approval ratings, he's in a world of trouble: 70% of undecideds give him a negative job approval rating!

James L. :: OR-Sen: Merkley Pulls Ahead in New Internal Poll
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The trend is a friend!
But why no mention of the McCain number? Obama at 49 but...? I hope that doesn't mean they are hiding bad news.

High numbers
Those numbers seem a little high for Brownlow, but I suppose Gordon Smith could be getting flack from the far right for votes on embryonic stem cell research and stances on issues like assisted suicide.  I guess some people still want to control life and death situations.  The poll is great and if true is welcome news.

Please donate to to help build more after school centers in the Miami area.  

23, Democrat, IA-2

One other bit of good news
to consider is that the sample for this poll wrapped up by Sept. 9; Sept. 10 is the date that Willamette Week released its expose on Gordon Smith (Prince of Peas) hiring illegal aliens to work his eastern Oregon agricultural operations. I don't know if that'll move a lot of votes to the Democrats (although if it moves right-wing nativist votes to the Constitution Party, I'll take that, too), but it's gotta help somehow. If anything, it'll add more to his disapproval rating (and I don't think anyone recovers in two months from a 61% disapproval).

Add the option "None of the Above"
The Blank Vote Initiative encourages you not to reward politicians who are part of the Coalition of the Willing to Wait. We need regime change NOW in America. And it's time NOW to end the Occupation.

Begone, troll.
You show up here to advocate against Jeff Merkley whenever we write a post about Oregon's Senate race. You add absolutely nothing else to the conversation here. That's not cool.

Your account is now banned.

[ Parent ]
Double awesome! EBT has been making an ass/troll of himself
all over Oregon websites for a while now.

[ Parent ]
Good news
this race is a real tossup. The DSCC's anti-Smith ads have been VERY effective. I think we can win here.

I agree
While some of the polls over the summer were troubling, I have to say we stand a better chance of beating Smith this year. It helps that we have a strong candidate (oh be quiet, trolls!), and that the DSCC is flush with cash. Neither of these were the case last time around.

Just out of curiosity, what were those ads like? I recall seeing a few linked here, but I've forgotten.

[ Parent ]
As previously noted
Smith's approval has absolutely collapsed about Ds and Indies.  With the 9% edge we now have in registration, that could be enough to give Merkley the win...

That being said, I'm waiting until Tim Hibbits (the gold standard for OR Polling) comes out with his poll.

[ Parent ]
Brownlow will NOT get 6%
No way, no how, 2-3% at best...

Can I just say I love scribd
It is the anti-adobe, and I can't take it when adobe shuts down my entire computer to open a file.  

In terms of the race, this is great news.  I view this race as a real bellweather.  

Question, which race do people think is more winnable right now, OR or MN-SEN?  I think that's a tough call.  Both are strong GOP incumbents, and Merkley and Franken have their warts.  But on the flip side, they've remained competitive and Obama should win both states with ease.  Very tough to say.  I want to say Coleman because I dislike him a great deal more than Smith, but I think it is probably Smith because his repeatedly low favorable ratings are really stark.  

As a former MN'an and now live in the Pacific Northwest
Oregon is definitely more winnable!

Sadly, I don't know how Al Franken will play over with most of the "F" and "L" in the DFL (Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party).  I always thought the Mike Ciresi would be the Amy Klobuchar of 2008.  

My main reason for the answer is that MN has been drifting to the right.  And Oregon has been trending from the GOP hope on the West Coast has been drifting towards the left.  I don't see people in MN having a good enough reason to throw Coleman out and he's been running a good campaign.  We'll see what happens if he does have to pay millions more for TV ads.

[ Parent ]
This is looking more and more like #6
I already have this as our #6 best pickup opportunity.  I said it awhile back and believe it now more than ever, Merkley may win this thing handily.  Smith's campaign reminds me of DeWine's in 2006.  He's trying so hard to appeal to democrats and independents that he's losing the support of his base.  Granted I don't think he can lose by 10+ as DeWine did, but a 5-8 point loss I can see happening.

Oregon will probably be my number 6 through election day with NC as number seven.  Both shaped up nicely for us in the end.  Imagine if they were the slam dunks we could've gotten.

[ Parent ]
It's not over and it was never a slam drunk
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, Smith was harder to beat because he was not hopelessly corrupt like so many other Republican Senators..

[ Parent ]
I think he means if we had recruited Peter DeFazio and Brad Miller
Because DeFazio would have made this a slam dunk.  Smith would have fought hard and he has a lot of money on hand, but Merkley is an unknown and thus definable to the electorate, whereas DeFazio has such a clear record that no one, including Smith, could define him.

One could launch bullshit voting-record attacks like those on Udall in Colorado, but look how well those are working.

DeFazio might not have been a 100% slam dunk, but he would've been pretty close.

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08

[ Parent ]
DeFazio yes
I think he'd be heavily favored at this point in the race against Smith.  But Merkley is the best we could find and he's turned out to be a solid choice.

As for Brad Miller, I'm not so sure he'd have a greater chance than Hagen.  Hagen has turned out to be a much better pick than I ever imagined.  The only good thing about Miller would have been his fundraising ability.  He could have far outraised Hagen, thus requiring less DSCC cash.  I still suspect Miller may take a crack at Burr in 2010.

[ Parent ]
not necessarily the best we could find
Merkley had to rely on massive cash infusions from Chuck Schumer, and a fair bit of smearing of his opponent, to beat the "best we could find," Steve Novick.

I don't think we'd take a GOP internal as gospel on the race; let's wait for an independent poll. (Unless the Merkley campaign is willing to release the methodology, question order, etc.) However, the approvals for Smith do echo the most recent SUSA on him, which showed a cratering of approval among indies in particular.

We'll have to wait and see.  

[ Parent ]
Lincoln Chafee - anyone else see this?

Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee was known for keeping a low-key profile on Capitol Hill, but the Republican turned Independent is making waves with his exceedingly blunt comments on newly-minted Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin

She's a "cocky wacko," he told a Washington think tank earlier this week.


Damn good description of Palin.

This is ALL OVER Rhode Island talk radio today (oddly enough, radio here is still full of right-wing nutjobs, despite our status as #1 or #2 liberal state in the nation, depending on your source).
They're all livid over such betrayal, but this is exactly why Lincoln Chafee did so well here for so long - he's honest, he's realistic, and he calls it like he sees it.
Gotta admit it... I sometimes feel pangs of regret over voting for Whitehouse, but with a 51-49 majority, the regret can only go so far!
Go Chafee, GObama!
"You can put lipstick on a cocky wacko..."

[ Parent ]
Chafee for cabinet
I agree... too bad that the moderates like Chafee and Hagel are voted out of the GOP. But we needed that 51-49.

I would like to see Chafee in Obamas cabinet. I think Cohen did a good job for Clinton.  

[ Parent ]
I always liked Lincoln Chafee
It's just sad he never could get over the fact his father was a republican and flip to the democrats, he's better on most issues then half the democratic party.

I would defiantly support Chafee for Obama's cabinet or governor of Rhode Island.  

Btw I'm back sorry I've been gone for like 2 months.  I should be posting more and am very excited about the election. So much has happened since the summer, the Democratic convention was awesome. Obama was incredible, and topped even the great speeches by the Clintons and Joe Biden (although Mark Warner's speech was horrendous). I still can't believe that McCain picked Palin, just a crazy suicidal pick. How insulting is that to women, to think that just because Palin is a women that women who supported Hillary Clinton would abandon all they believe in and vote for her. Just the most sexist insulting thing I have ever seen. I think once the American public sees Biden eviscerate her in the debate, this election will be done and Obama will win.  

[ Parent ]
I could see a run for Governor
As either an independent of Dem.  I believe Carcieri is term-limited and the Governorship of RI will be open in 2010.

[ Parent ]
Carcieri is indeed term-limited in 2010, and the buzz in these parts is for David Cicilline (mayor of Providence, who boasts the highest approval rating in the state after Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and fmr. Sen. Lincoln Chafee... but now that Buddy Cianci is back on the radio bashing him left and right, it's already taken a toll on his image.  If Cicilline runs, Buddy's trash-talking will increase tenfold, and Buddy's not even be part of the race), Frank Caprio (Gen. Treasurer), and Pat Lynch (AG) on the Dem side, and Steve Laffey (Chafee's 2006 primary opponent) for the GOP.  Laffey's a right-wing nutjob, and I highly doubt he can win statewide office here... but if he won mayor of my (quite liberal) hometown, I guess it's possible.

Chafee's played it very cool so far... calling it "unprobable" and something he'd really have to think about... but he keeps mentioning how people stop him on the street or in the supermarket and apologize for not voting for him, and encourage him to run again for Governor.  I doubt he'd keep dropping comments like that if he wasn't seriously considering it - it's like he's already got the speech prepared: "As people continue to stop me in public and urge me to run for office, I continue to be both humbled and inspired.  Their encouragement has helped me come to the decision to heed the public's call to service..."  Especially now that he's effectively abjured republicanism, he's got plenty of options here in the Ocean State!  But will it be a run for Governor?  Mayor of Providence?  Treasurer?  He's hinted at an interest in all three.

A post in an Obama cabinet would be an amazing alternative, though...

[ Parent ]
The RSCC just went on the air in OR
With an anti-Merkley ad (I couldn't tell about what because I had the sound off) but given Smith's cash advantage, this is a very good sign!

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